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Last Updated: Friday July 18 2008 10:58 GMT

Vicar dodges dive-bombing gulls

One of the seagulls

A pair of seagulls are attacking people going to a church in Cornwall.

The vicar, Reverend Canon Graham Minors, has been forced to wear a hard hat to stop being pecked by the gulls.

The birds are dive-bombing people because they are protecting their chick, who they have raised in the church's graveyard in Bodmin.

The gulls' behaviour has caused a few complaints, but Canon Minors says the birds will calm down when the chick gets bigger and leaves the nest.

He said: "People are able to walk through the churchyard safely but if you get too close you might be dive-bombed."

Rev Graham Minors
Canon Minors with his hat
Photographer Peter Glaser said he was attacked trying to get a picture of the birds.

"It gave me shivers and made my hair curl as the seagulls flew towards me," he said.

"I was terrified and stood with my back against the wall."

Seagulls are actually protected under law, making it illegal to kill the birds or mess with their nests.